*I was provided with two tickets to The Phantom of the Opera: Halloween Organ and Film and two tickets to giveaway from the Omaha Performing Art Center. Any opinions are 100% my own.
Are you familiar with the The Phantom of the Opera? Omaha Performing Arts is bringing a rare opportunity for you to experience The Phantom of the Opera accompanied by the original Wurlitzer at the Orpheum Theater! How awesome is that?!
Clark Wilson, a silent film organist, will be playing the Wurlitzer during The Phantom of the Opera at Orpheum Theater. Here are some tidbits about Mr. Wilson to give you some background on his amazing experience:
- He began his scoring career in 1980 and has successfully toured North America with hundreds of film presentations at schools and universities, performing arts centers, theatres, film festivals, and conventions
- He is one of the most prominent and recognized scorers of silent photoplays in America today.
- He works exclusively with the Organ in developing accurate and historic musical accompaniments as they were performed in major picture palaces during the heyday of the silent film.
- He was personally influenced by, and became close friends with Chicago area organist John Muri, who was an original master of picture accompaniment and practiced his art well into the 1980s.
- His work has led to performances for UCLA, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, where, in addition to other pictures, he has repremiered “Wings” for Paramount Studios’ 100th Anniversary, the Chautauqua Institution, Cinequest and San Francisco film festivals, the Los Angeles Conservancy, the Packard Foundation’s Stanford Theatre film series, the Atlanta premier of the restored “Metropolis”, and annual presentations at the Atlanta Fox Theatre and for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Society at the Walt Disney Concert Hall organ.
His (and Wilson’s) historic style was that of utilizing fine music as a basis for developing a score of musical value. If the original score is no longer extant, a new one is prepared from the organist’s library and is normally transferred to a cue sheet – somewhat of a “road map” of suggested themes and notated screen actions which keep the organist fully on course. The development of themes in serious pictures is obtained exclusively in this way, and it must be considered the truest way to properly underscore screen action. Nothing is left to chance and wholesale improvisation is not relied upon. Further, the musical style of the time remains intact; no attempt is made to distract from the picture by using themes or styles that entered the musical scene years later. Most important of all, the film remains the focus and star of the performance.